Mary Poppins had the same problem.
Just like Jane and Michael Banks, younger children are not easily persuaded to take their medicine.
However, while the world-famous nanny often has measures at her disposal that seem out of reach for real-life parents, her method in this case is simple enough: ”A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine to go down.”
Of course, the idea of giving your small child a spoon of pure sugar is a little outdated now.
Hiding a liquid medicine by mixing it into some custard or pudding, for example, is one way to disguise the unpleasant taste.
But not all food and medicine is suitable for this trick and parents should check with their doctor or pharmacist before trying it, according to the German professional association of paediatricians.
Another way to get the medicine safely into your child’s mouth is to use a small needleless syringe or pipette.
To make the child open his or her mouth a little, you can gently stroke their cheek.
The syringe is pushed into the side of the mouth and injected into the lower cheek – if possible, without touching the tongue.
This way, the child perceives the taste less.
Stroking beneath the chin encourages swallowing.
Under no circumstances should the medicine be given into the throat, as this could cause choking.
Children who have reached school-age are old enough to understand simple explanations as to why they need to take something.
Rewarding them with points or a prize after they have swallowed a pill or a spoonful of liquid medicine might also encourage them.
Regardless of age, praise is always in order once the child has successfully taken the medicine. – dpa